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Comets, Asteroids, and Meteors. The Solar System’s Other Stuff. Comets. Chunks of ice and dust Orbits are very long, narrow ellipses Means “long haired star” in Greek When near the sun, they vaporize to make a tail. Parts of Comets. Nucleus Made of ice and dust Coma Vaporizing ice Tail

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comets asteroids and meteors

Comets, Asteroids, and Meteors

The Solar System’s Other Stuff

comets
Comets

Chunks of ice and dust

Orbits are very long, narrow ellipses

Means “long haired star” in Greek

When near the sun, they vaporize to make a tail

parts of comets
Parts of Comets
  • Nucleus
    • Made of ice and dust
  • Coma
    • Vaporizing ice
  • Tail
    • Made of dust blown away by the solar wind
asteroids
Asteroids

Orbit in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter

Too small to be called planets

More than 10,000 asteroids

Never became a planet due to Jupiter’s gravity

meteors
Meteors

Meteoroid is a chunk of rock or ice in space

Usually come from comets or asteroids

Becomes a meteor when it hits Earths atmosphere

Becomes a meteorite when it hits the Earth’s surface

Can be seen because they are burning due to friction

review questions
Review Questions
  • What is a comet made of?
  • Where are most asteroids found?
  • What are the main source of meteoroids?
  • What is the difference between a meteor and a meteorite?